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Julie Fine
Fifth Grade Teacher, ELA-8

Julie has taught English at Darlington since 2010 and also coaches Middle School basketball and cheerleading. She holds a B.A. in English from Berry College and an M.Ed. with Certification in Secondary English Education from the University of Georgia. Julie has also taught speech and drama at Darlington. She and her husband Derek, the school's technology support coordinator, have three children, Adelyn ('30), Harrison and Lily.



Keep Your Head Up!

10/23/2017 9:00:00 AM, 168 views

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In this crazy busy world that’s full of distractions, it’s easy to get wrapped up in checking things off the to-do list. It’s also easy to get bogged down and feel defeated by all the things we haven’t gotten around to doing yet or didn’t have time to do as well as we know we should have.

In his opening address to the faculty this year, Head of School Brent Bell encouraged the faculty and staff to actively work against getting wrapped up in the whirlwind of things we have to do and the disappointment that comes from feeling like we’re underperforming. Mr. Bell gave us four simple phrases to help us remember the importance of making the most of every moment - Arrive. Connect. Press on. Keep your head up. I cannot think of a more appropriate sentiment to pass on to our students!

When fifth-graders arrived at school this year, they each found a small poster reminding them of these four phrase posted inside their cubby. At first the students were a little unsure of why we placed these cryptic posters in their personal space. They spent time thinking and talking about what these words must mean. Then, as a journal entry, students took time to think about each phrase and what it means to them as a student, athlete, musician, son/daughter, sibling, artist, friend, and any of the other role he or she plays each day. Their thoughts and ideas were insightful and, for me, inspiring:

ArriveDon’t just show up. Enter into each activity with a good attitude and come ready to participate. Even when you might feel sad or upset about something, try to put it aside and focus on what you’re doing in that moment.

ConnectTry to make new friends where ever you are. Make sure everyone feels welcome and included. Don’t just sit and not do anything because you’re afraid you might not be good at something. Jump in and try; you might be good at it after all. Don’t be on your phone all the time.

Press onIf you make a bad grade, find out what you need to do to get better. If you’re frustrated and can’t figure something out, ask for help or try doing it a different way. Don’t get down on yourself because you’re not good at something the first time you try it. Keep working and you’ll probably get better.

Keep your head upThings are going to disappoint you, but you can’t let it ruin your whole day. Remember that even if you might have made a mistake there are lots of other things you’ve done really well. Don’t let the stuff you mess up on define you and make you feel bad about yourself. Messing up is part of learning and it shows you’re trying.

Last week we were excited to have Mr. Bell come so we could share our thoughts with him. In turn, he shared why these phrases were important to him each day. It was powerful for fifth-graders to see that, no matter your age or title, each person makes an active choice as to how they approach every situation and that their choice ultimately determines their success. As a reminder, Mr. Bell gave each student two bracelets reminding them of the four important phrases.

What a wonderful opportunity to for students at this young age to acknowledge the fact that they have control over their learning and their success. This is a powerful message that I hope the students take with them and apply in each aspect of their lives.



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